What Is Email Marketing? (With Types, Benefits And Tips)

Indeed Editorial Team

Updated 30 September 2022

The Indeed Editorial Team comprises a diverse and talented team of writers, researchers and subject matter experts equipped with Indeed's data and insights to deliver useful tips to help guide your career journey.

The use of email marketing is a powerful tool for businesses of all kinds to acquire customers, engage and retain them. Email marketing can help make the email list of a company be aware of the new products, discounts and other services. Apart from awareness-building, marketing emails can also be used to promote sales or special offers, provide education or information, or share general company information. In this article, we discuss "What is email marketing", find out the steps to run an email marketing campaign, look at different types of emails and learn the benefits of email marketing.

What is email marketing?

Understanding what is email marketing can help you grow a business through the power of emails. Direct marketing strategies that rely primarily on email campaigns are known as email marketing. Companies can use emails to build relationships with prospects, convert them into customers and ensure existing customers have a positive experience. The value of email marketing lies in its low cost and effectiveness. The process can be as simple as setting up a welcome email and a few automated messages, depending on the industry and email database size.

Related: Top 20 Careers In Marketing: Average Salary And Requirements

How to conduct an email marketing campaign

Here are some of the steps to implement an email marketing campaign:

1. Set relevant goals

Email marketing has proven to be one of the most effective methods of reaching target audiences. Establish clear goals before launching your campaign. For instance, if the objective is to increase sales, the campaign requires building a relevant list, using segmented pop-ups and customising through relevant metrics.

2. Build an email list

List building refers to the process for the collection of e-mail addresses of website visitors or users. This helps develop the subscriber database and strengthen future commercial communications with potential or existing clients. Some of the best ways to build an email list include social media, discounts and deals, referral and loyalty programs, partial or fully gated content and exclusive notifications.

3. Segment the target audience

Segmenting is the action of dividing an email subscriber list into smaller groups. Email segmentation is a method of personalising content to subscribers based on criteria such as the reader's geographical location, interests and past purchases. Marketers use segments to cater specifically to different email lists and each list's individual interests, rather than using a single message for all. They often segment users based on:

  • Demographics: The sign-up process can tell marketers more about each reader's lifestyle by providing basic demographic information, such as age, gender and income level.

  • Geographical location: Marketers can find the purchasing habits and decisions of users based on their location. By timing the email messages according to recipients' time zones, they can create a better customer experience.

  • Past purchases: It is ideal to send recommendations for items related to or complementary to past purchases through this segment.

  • The time between purchases: Segmenting by the duration of time between purchases can help businesses develop messages that make sense to recipients. Notably, the effectiveness of email marketing extends to every stage of the buying process.

4. Decide on the type of campaign

Email campaigns help in engaging recipients, increasing sales and getting more leads. They can include newsletters, promotional emails, welcome emails to new subscribers and webinar invitations. It is important to choose factors such as scalability goals and time commitment when choosing a format.

Related: Guide To Email Writing Format In English (With Tips)

5. Create the campaign

Make sure that the email marketing software you choose has an intuitive, easy-to-use campaign builder. Companies may follow a series of steps to send the email depending on their provider. There may be a segmentation option to select from the software.

Advantages of email marketing

Email marketing is a very effective way to drive sales, sign-ups and new products for businesses. Here are some of the benefits of email marketing:

Positive return on investment

Email marketing allows you to segment clients into different lists according to their preferences so you can send tailored content to each one. Email is the perfect channel for delivering personal messages to your audience, from crafting the perfect subject line to creating images that appeal to your customers and valuable content they find valuable.

Easy to use

Email campaigns are relatively easy to set up. Email marketing software companies and resources are available online that help upload subscribers' information, segment email lists, use email templates and fill the content. It is even more effective to use a custom-designed email template in place of a pre-made template that matches the brand.

Better brand recognition

A direct connection to customers or potential customers' email inboxes is one of the key benefits of email marketing. Recognition of a brand is based on visual and auditory cues and good email marketing helps achieve that by creating valuable content for the customers. This also keeps the company's name in front of potential customers when it comes time to make a purchase.

Related: What Is A Brand Manager? Requirements And Job Description

Strong customer relationships

Using email marketing makes it easier to maintain and build customer relationships. Email marketing often requires personalisation to build customer relationships. Offering an email preference centre, automating emails and segmenting email lists are excellent ways to accomplish this. A good way to build trust with your subscribers is by offering them special incentives.

Types of email marketing

Here are some of the main types of email marketing:

Behavioural emails

In behavioural emails, users receive emails that are personalised to their behaviour and actions. A company may send an email after the user interacts with the business via social media, its website or email. The reason why behavioural emails are successful is due to the fact that they rely on the prospect's behaviour. Marketers who use behavioural email achieve higher social media and website activity, better email engagement and more subscriptions. By observing customer behaviour, marketers can gauge their preferences. As a result, they learn what the users need at this specific stage of the sales funnel to advance.


It is important to add value by producing engaging content, like announcements about new product offerings and thought leadership. In email marketing, newsletters are one of the popular campaigns. With an email newsletter, companies can provide their subscribers with useful information and tools with ease. Newsletters can help build relationships and maintain regular contact with clients, customers and business partners. They also bring awareness, establish companies as experts and are multi-functional.

Promotional emails

An effective promotional email encourages a company's target to take an action, such as making a purchase. Promotional emails can be commonly used to reward subscriber engagement with exclusive offers, announce holiday promotions, market upcoming products and services to subscribers and conduct giveaways. Some of the common objectives of such mails include improving audience engagement, bringing back dormant customers, increasing brand awareness and generating more traffic to the company website.

Co-marketing mails

Co-marketing through emails refers to the strategic partnerships with two or more brands to their shared audience for a task, event, or promotion together. By leveraging the audience of another company, co-marketing allows better reach. With the right efforts, co-marketing increases conversions, helps build audiences and drives revenue.

Email marketing tips

Email marketing is an important component of any marketing plan. Here are some tips to improve email marketing campaigns:

Consider your subject lines carefully

It is important to spend time and consider how to improve the subject line of an email since it is the first part of the marketing tool your recipient sees. Emails with unengaging subject lines are less likely to be opened. It is best to keep subject lines short when sending emails so that they do not cut off when read on mobile devices.

Engage your audience

Email marketing is primarily used to increase sales for most marketers. Engagement is one of the primary focuses of email marketing. This form of marketing places high importance on establishing relationships with subscribers to encourage loyalty and positive experiences. Engaging subscribers ultimately benefits the email campaigns, regardless of whether people purchase right away.

Employ A/B testing

Using A/B testing to improve the performance of your email marketing is a great idea. The A/B test, or split test, allows you to send different content to groups of subscribers and look for patterns in how they respond. Subject lines, body text and calls-to-action are some of the key components of A/B testing.

Provide value

Focus on your message to understand how you can retain subscribers by providing them with value. Links to educational resources, updates about important service offerings and operational messages can help you build stronger relationships with your audience. Optimise your email collection strategy accordingly.

Explore more articles